An accidental chemical spill outside of the Perdue Farms turkey processing plant in Washington, Indiana, led to an evacuation of the facility and the medical treatment of seven people.
The accident occurred around 2:40 p.m. on August 25.
According to an email from a Perdue Farms spokesperson, a pallet being transported on a forklift tipped over, causing the spill. While the spill occurred outside, the facility was evacuated. There were about 350 Perdue associates inside the building who were evacuated.
“Perdue’s onsite safety and environmental teams responded immediately to contain and clean the spill,” the company spokesperson said, adding that the local fire department also responded to the scene.
“The safety of our people is our top priority. Seven associates were treated onsite by the facility’s wellness team for headache(s) and shortness of breath. In an abundance of caution, one associate was transported to a nearby healthcare facility for additional observation and has since been discharged.”
The chemical that was spilled was not identified. However, the company said there was no environmental impact as a result of the spill.
Production at the turkey plant resumed about an hour after the spill took place.
Earlier this month, Perdue Farms earned the GreenCircle Zero Waste to Landfill certification for this same plant, making it the first U.S. turkey processing facility and the third Perdue facility to earn the accreditation.
Perdue Farms, according the WATTPoultry Top Companies Database, is the eighth largest turkey producer in the United States, having processed 300 million live pounds of turkey during the past year. Perdue also ranks fifth among broiler producers in the United States, having processed 62.3 million pounds of ready-to-cook chicken on a weekly basis in 2021. As a feed producer, it ranks 61st globally, with 2.5 million metric tons of production in 2021.
The family-owned company is headquartered in Salisbury, Maryland.